Rangers Star Morelos’ Reaction To Misses Should Be Applauded

It’s funny as no one mentions the pace of the ball, where the pass is played or the bobble that might have disturbed the ball’s path as it fell to the striker who then blazes his effort over the bar.

Fans all over the world react with mirth as forwards fluff their lines and miss what looks like the easiest of chances.

Calls cry out ‘My gran could’ve scored that!’ 

Whether it’s because of the build up to the chance or just down to human error, attacking players will always miss chances. It’s part and parcel of the game.

At Rangers, they have a young Colombian hitman in Alfredo Morelos and he’s done really well so far this term with his fifteen goals in thirty appearances for the Light Blues. Eleven of those goals have come in the Scottish Premiership.

His efforts at Ibrox have seen him being embraced by the home support and it’s also been reported that there’s interest from China for his services.

The twenty-one year old’s form has also seen his name being mentioned with a call-up for the Colombian national team.

The striker is an empathic finisher, he comes alive when the ball is in and around the box. He can be a poacher and has that ability to get into the right places at the right times. His positional awareness is first class and he’s also very reactive.

Yet youngster is still raw, he certainly isn’t the finished article yet and yes he misses chances. The one he missed against Ayr United was glaring (watch the bobble).

But no matter how and why he missed, it’s his reaction to those misses that counts. He would go on and grab a brace and that helped see his side head into the next of the Scottish Cup.

He has missed a few chances this term but he always seems to have a positive reaction and looks to get himself on the scoresheet.

You never see the forward’s head go down, he clearly doesn’t overthink the chance he’s just missed. He’s already thinking about getting the next chance and taking it.

That’s what you want from your striker. Some let the missed opportunities swallow them up, others carry on.

I remember people slating Andy Cole for missing plenty of chances, especially during his heyday at Manchester United. People stated he’d miss seven and score one. But look at his record of 187 Premier League goals, only Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney have bettered it. He also won everything worth winning during his days at Old Trafford, those are the things that matter at the end of the day.

It’s great to see a young striker like Alfredo Morelos scoring plenty of goals but it’s also refreshing to see him miss chances and not letting it effect him. Hopefully he can carry on and improve, he certainly seems to have the hunger to do so.

Here’s Hoping Alex McLeish Gives Scotland A Back Three!

 

The SFA have finally confirmed that they have a new national team boss. Alex McLeish has returned to the job and will be hoping to guide Scotland to Euro 2020 qualification.

His appointment doesn’t have me jumping up and down with excitement nor does it have me down in the dumps with disappointment. I think he was one of the better options still available to the SFA and he has the experience to give us a fighting chance when it comes to our chances of qualifying for our first major tournament since the World Cup in France back in 1998.

In my opinion, the best way to succeed is by changing things at the back. During the Gordon Strachan era, our defence was often the area that proved to be our weakest-link.

I’d plump for a back three if I were McLeish, as I believe we have the personnel to make that tactic work for us. Plus if we are weak in central defence, then surely it makes sense to add an extra player in that position.

Scotland’s top flight have an abundance of talented central defenders coming through at our biggest clubs.

Ross McCrorie and David Bates have been impressive at Rangers, Hearts have an exciting young defensive talent in John Souttar, Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna has had a terrific season so far at Pittodrie and Hibs have a great prospect in Ryan Porteous.

You can then add Celtic new boy Jack Hendry. The twenty-two year old centre-back shone for Dundee in the first half of the season before moving to the Scottish Premiership champions.

It’s starting to look like we are on the verge bringing through a good crop of young Scottish central defenders.

Now I’m not suggesting we throw all of them into the senior first team straight away but having a three man defence you can certainly add one, maybe even two, in there beside a more experienced campaigner.

I don’t think Alex would be foolish enough to dump the likes of Christophe Berra, Charlie Mulgrew or Russell Martin. They could be vital in bringing out the best from the younger defenders. They have the experience to talk the new stars though the tougher international fixtures.

Having three central defenders would then give us two wing-backs. You could have Andrew Robertson on the left, his performances for Liverpool lately have been fantastic.

That could mean that you add Kieran Tierney as your left-sided centre back. The Celtic star is fast becoming one of Scotland’s best talents. While he’s a natural left back; he’s smart enough to play centrally, disciplined enough to stay there and he’s strong in the tackle too. He also has the pace needed to cover for any mistakes others in defence might make.

At right back we aren’t at our strongest but players such as Calum Paterson and Ikechi Anya could flourish as right wing-backs. Maybe you could also get James Forrest or Motherwell’s Chris Cadden to adapt to that position.

All in all, I really think it would make sense for Scotland to go for a formation which has three at the back. We need to get our young talented defenders a chance to shine on the international stage and we have others in the squad that can help their development. It could also solve our defensive problems that have been lingering for too long now.

Picture Blog: Ernst-Happel-Stadion – Vienna

I was lucky enough to enjoy a trip to Vienna last week and I decided to check-out the Ernst-Happel Stadion, Austria’s largest stadium.

It was also the venue for the Euro 2008 final between Spain and Germany.

Mourinho’s Man United Misfits: Can Manager Get Most From Squad?

Jose Mourinho, is, of course, one of the best managers in the world. His record speaks for itself and it would be hard to argue with the assertion that he has proved himself time and time again. However, he is yet to really achieve lift off with Manchester United, especially when compared to Pep Guardiola at their cross town rivals.

He might have taken home two major trophies last season and is currently pushing United on to become the main title challenges to Man City, however there are some thick clouds over Old Trafford, with Sunday night’s defeat to Newcastle really ramming home these issues. Mourinho, for all his nous, for all his ability and for all his experience, still seems unsure how to organise his side properly and how to get the best out of one of the most talented squads in English, if not European, football.

One of the biggest issues seems to be that, despite having a conveyor belt of talent from Paul Pogba to Alexis Sanchez, from Anthony Martial to Marcus Rashford and from Romelu Lukaku to Nemanja Matic, he doesn’t know his best team, his best formation or even his best tactics. It is possible to win games through individual brilliance, as United have many times, but when they come up against well organised and resolute sides, if that moment of magic doesn’t come, then they fail. We saw that against Newcastle and Huddersfield in particular.

While only a fool would bet against Mourinho eventually turning it round, it is hard to see him doing it soon enough to make this season anything more than another transitional one. If you think you have a good idea of how the Mourinho era will go then, for the most varied stockpile of free bet offers – click here, if you want to make a bet on Mourinho to turn things round or to continue to fail, then these offers will let you do it without spending a penny of your own money. With focus seemingly off winning the Premier League, it might be an idea to have a flutter on Man Utd taking home the FA Cup, which Mourinho will surely want to lift for only the second time in his career.

He seems to be having real issues with Paul Pogba, United’s record signing and at one point, the world’s most expensive player. He has struggled recently and Jose seems unsure how to play him and whether to deploy him in a two or a three man midfield. His problems are further compounded by the fact that Sanchez’s arrival in Manchester, has meant Martial has switched wings and looks far less effective. There are a lot of questions about how United should play and Mourinho currently seems like he doesn’t have a sufficient answer.

He is also hamstrung by his very average defence who have really struggled in tighter games, they have desperately missed Eric Bailly. Jose Mourinho though does have to take some of the blame for buying Victor Lindelof and failing to properly integrate him in the side. United are clearly a good side but they need more and better guidance, Mourinho should be the man to provide that, but he needs to find tough answers to the hard questions soon.

Visiting Pollok FC And Finding Out About Their Community Work And the Academy

Produced for SD Scotland and Club Development Scotland.

Find out more about Pollok FC.

 

Dembele’s Up-Turn In Form A Major Boost For Tottenham Hotspur!

Tottenham Hotspur look shellshocked for much of the opening fifteen minutes in Turin last night, as Italian champs Juventus took an early two goal lead.

Then the North London club managed to find a foothold in the Champions League match and eventually got the tie back to an even 2-2 scoreline, meaning it’s still all to play for in the next leg at Wembley Stadium in a few weeks time.

Harry Kane was once again amongst the goals, Dele Alli provided a great assist and Danish maestro Christian Eriksen grabbed the vital equaliser.

For me, midfielder Mousa Dembele was extremely influential in getting Spurs back into top gear. The Belgian, like his teammates, had started nervously and it was he who gave away the free-kick that led to Juve’s opening goal.

It’s how you overcome disappointments that often define footballers and it was Dembele who seemed to get things back on track with his assured tackling, his smart passing, great ball control in tight positions and the ability to keep the ball going forward.

He was the first player in the away team to start nicking the ball in midfield positions and then he would keep possession for his team, often with forward thinking passes to the creative outlets. His composure and determination then seemed to spread throughout his teammates and Spurs started looking like a dominant force again.

No other Spurs man touched the ball more the thirty year old middle-man and no player on the pitch was more accurate with their passes.

The English Premier League side have recently picked up impressive wins against league rivals Manchester United and Arsenal. Arguably the comeback against the Serie A giants was more of a triumph as Juventus have been un super form in recent months, they hadn’t conceded a goal in the whole of 2018 until Kane’s strike!

In all three of those key fixtures; Dembele turned up, performed and was dominant. He knows when to push forward, put a foot in and when to hold off and sit back. Not only is he strong on the ball, he also has the pace to beat opponents in a foot race.

He’s a technically gifted athlete who is currently in top form and influencing the biggest of games. He doesn’t score the goals or provide the main assists but he does the hardwork in midfield and get the ball to the team’s star attacking talents.

He had a pesky ankle injury that kept him out for a month earlier in the campaign and he took time getting back into the swing of things but the Belgian international is fast becoming the unsung hero of this talented Spurs squad.

His recents top class performances against the strongest of opponents shows just how good Mousa Dembele is and it’s vital Tottenham keep him fully fit.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino knows exactly what he’s got and that he has to be managed appropriately:

“Because, about his quality, there is no doubt that like I have told you many times, for me he is a genius, and unbelievable player.

“But we must be careful about his fitness, it is good and he can train and, he can make this type of performance because he is a great talented player.”

Is Paul Pogba Being Misused At Man United?

Paul Pogba enjoyed a terrific start to the current campaign and was one of Manchester United’s stars as they got off to a great start to their Premier League season.

The French internationalist then suffered from a hamstring injury but seemed decent when he returned to first team action, scoring on his return and bossing things against Arsenal in December he was sent off.

The midfield dynamo hasn’t been great since the turn of the year.

The international midfielder hasn’t dominated games and has looked pretty lacklustre in certain outings. Those inefficient performances resulted in Paul being dropped for his side’s win over Huddersfield Town and then being hauled off after just 65 minutes in the Red Devils loss to Newcastle United yesterday.

For me, Paul Pogba is playing like a conflicted player who doesn’t really know what his role is in the team.

We know that Jose Mourinho likes to go defensive when he feels that he’s under pressure to get results and that means having two holding midfielders anchoring things in the engine room.

Summer signing Nemanja Matic knows exactly what to do in that area and will always look to be a player that sits and marshals in-front of the defensive back four. In the earlier parts of the season, when United were flying, Matic would hold back and Pogba would have the freedom to go further forward. With that licence to roam, Paul managed to pick up three league goals and nine assists.

In recent weeks, he seems to be more subdued and asked to put in more of a defensive shift. The problem with that is that he isn’t built for the position. He has the creative urge to get into attacking areas. So when United lose the ball, he’s sometimes out of position and not defensively where he should be.

The United team looked more balanced when Scott McTominay started ahead of Pogba in the Huddersfield game but that’s because he’s suited to the defensive role. The youngster likes getting his foot in and that’s not Pogba’s style.

If Mourinho wants to play with two proper holding midfielders then he’s better off without Paul Pogba in those positions. Instead you could play him further forward in the number ten role but at the moment Jesse Lingard is in form and rightfully has that role nailed down.

At Juventus and with the French national team, Pogba has been at his best in the left side of a midfield three. Man United have the personnel to play in that formation but Jose seems to prefer the 4-2-3-1 tactic, probably because it sees someone like Lingard playing closer to Romelu Lukaku and gives Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial a chance to shine on the wings.

To be honest, I think something has got to give or Mourinho will have an unhappy Paul Pogba on his hands. Either give him more license to roam or change your formation because the holding role just doesn’t suit him or the team’s needs.

Mobile Android Gaming Apps of 2018-19

When it comes to discussing or playing on mobile games, Android no longer finds itself in the shadow cast by the iPhone. It’s always good news that you already have experience on Galaxy S8, OnePlus 5T or any other new branded Android Phone which are ready to fill up with all types of games to keep you entertained. If you browse through Google Play on your mobile phone, then you will find many top games across the world with huge varieties of genres, whether you’re searching for adventure or action games, real life cricket or football apps games, puzzle games or any such games that the entire family can participate and enjoy, you can find out the best games for every kind of gamer that branded Android Mobile phones offer.

Family and Dance Game App: Nothing can be better than bringing a party together and getting people to dance. Maybe not everyone knows how to dance, which is where “Just Dance Now” comes in. This mobile spinoff app is hit with the console series that brings more than 200 song titles to Android and iOS smart phones including “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley, “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and many more. This game is free to download and you have to pay for most of the songs. However, you can also buy any temporary pass for as little as $1 per hour, which could turn into a great way to entertain during single party nights. You can also broadcast it on a big screen TV via Apple Airplay or Google Cast.

Casino and Dice Game App: This is an officially licensed game app, picking from professional tournaments for all high level of poker players. World Series of Poker (WSOP) are focusing on bringing the cutting edge competition right to your phone. You can easily play with friends or with other online opponents to sharpen your skills and get on the world leader board. The aim of such games is to make you a better poker player and let you know about extensive statistic skills which could help you to improve your poker gaming skills. If your goal is to play like a Las Vegas pro, then this would be the right app for you.

Best Sports Game: The latest updates of Android mainstay adds the first every story mode to Madden NFL Football, and it’s a winner as this sports gaming app will guide an up-and-coming player from draft day to pigskin glory. Other changes to Madden can also include weekend tournaments and player progression systems with Livescores apps. So, this app would definitely win the heart of all the football lovers. There are so many options with free to download options. Madden NFL Football features slick graphics as well as technical game pay that awards smart decision making.

Racing Games: Real Racing 3 has excellent features. The free to play driving sim will let you take the wheel to a host of real cars, as you drive around any gorgeously rendered real racetracks. There are various types of gaming modes in this app including standard races, trial mode and the Time Shift Multiplayer mode which offers different challenges to all the players with the addition of new contents and giving updates of new cars and different car racing events.

Trivia Game: Trivia Crack Kingdom is one of the popular Trivia games that give the Trivia Crack formula on a more focused approach and allowing all the players to subscribe to specific categories of trivia questions to follow. Then engaging in head-to-head trivia battles against your Social Media (Facebook) friends or random opponents. Players can choose from two different options like either engage themselves in single channel games or they can involve themselves in multi-channel trivia matches where the asynchronous design will allow you to have multiple games up while you wait for other players to take their turn.

Word and Puzzle Games: This kind of gaming app that will improve upon the original and your choice of words. Moment Valley 2 mainly brings back the mentally stimulating puzzles of its predecessors but with light and colour. It will also add new features like the ability of controlling second characters – the heroine Ro is joined by her child on this journey, whereas maintaining the minimalist look with immersive music that ultimately made the first game a joy to play. The best part is that you can dive right in, even if you’ve never played the game before.

Adventure Games: Double Fine’s Adventure Broken Age helped start gaming’s crowd-funding revolution. The story of this game is mainly about two teens, each struggling against traditions that blind them. Deep in the bowels of Starship, one of the teen is trying to escape the clutches of a stiflingly maternal AI while Vella Tartine (another Teen) has been chosen to be sacrificed to a mysterious monster just to save her village. This app is gorgeously rendered with 2D Graphics and neat soundtrack. It’s ultimately a well built genuine adventure.

There’s so many sports gamers who’re want to get news, videos, scores of real life sports like Football, Hockey, Rugby and Cricket for which they can get help from other types of apps those which are also known as Sports Scores or News Apps including CBS sports, NBS App and many more. So, choose any of the above mobile Android sports apps and be entertained.

Why Sergio Aguero’s Still Shining At Manchester City

Manchester City put in a superb second half display to run out 5-1 winners over Leicester City yesterday. The performance edges them ever closer to their first Premier League title under the guardianship of Pep Guardiola.

Kevin De Bruyne put on a maestro masterclass with some tremendous assists and was rightfully applauded for yet another virtuoso performance. The Belgian’s form hasn’t come as a surprise and I stated before the season started that if he can stay fit this term, then he’d be a shoe in for player of the year.

For me, it was Sergio Aguero’s outing on Saturday that was worth noting.

The Argentine marksman banged in four goals against The Foxes. That was his third league hat-trick of the season.

His goals showed off everything that makes Aguero tick in-front of goal.

He can be that poacher that sticks away the easiest of tap-ins. Or he can drill in thunderous strikes from outside of the penalty area. He has arrow like accuracy and an immaculate first touch that sets up a quick finish. The forward also has the speed and presence of mind to make the most of any mistakes from the opposition.

Guardiola was full of praise for his main striker after the big win:

“We made a good performance and when one guy is able to score four goals, he deserves all the credit and the nice words,” Guardila told a news conference.

“He fought, he played really good and he scored goals and it’s so important, we needed it.”

We shouldn’t be surprised by these goalscoring heroics from the twenty-nine year old. He’s been consistently great in-front of goal since his arrival at the Eithad in 2011.

In the league, Aguero has scored 143 times in just 203 appearances. In all competitions, the striker is just three short of 300 City goals.

He has that instinct to be in the right place at the right time. Yet he can also make chances for himself with the pace to get past defenders. He also has a determination not to carry on and get more and more goals. He’s not happy on the bench or the treatment table, his attitude is to be on the field and to get the goals that win games!

Yet a lot of the talk this season, in terms of goalscorers, has been about Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah. Obviously both have also been in tremendous form, Kane leads the Premier League scoring charts with his 23 strikes and Egyptian Salah has whacked in 21 in his debut year at Anfield.

Yet Sergio has managed to score the same as Salah and only two behind free-scoring Kane. In fact, Aguero has a better goals to minutes ratio as he has banged in a goal in every 85 minutes so far this term compared to Kane’s goal every 97 minutes and Mohamed’s one every 93 minutes.

Aguero’s also helped with five league assists.

It seemed very different at the start of the season when many reported that the Argentinian international was ready to leave Manchester with Gabriel Jesus believed to be Pep’s striker of choice.

The Brazilian is certainly a hitman that has the potential to become one of the world’s best but injuries and experience mean that he’s not ready to carry the scoring pressures all on his own, while Sergio is still at his peak.

Guardiola clearly likes Jesus and sees a lot of great things in his future but the Spaniard knows that he needs to keep Sergio Aguero happy as well, as the elder statesman has already proved himself as being one of the best scorers in the world.

The race for the Premier League’s golden boot is hotting up and maybe Aguero won’t win that particular award as he’ll probably be rested more than Salah and Kane but he’ll win the more important team titles and that’s what counts the most.

Never count Sergio Aguero out as class is permanent and the forward has it in spades!

Antonio Conte Looks To Be On Borrowed Timed At Chelsea

When a Chelsea manager watches on as his team lose 3-0 at home to AFC Bournemouth and then 4-1 away to Watford, then he probably starts to think his time might be up.

Roman Abramovich has never been scared to pull the trigger and sack a boss if he thinks that manager has lost the dressing room. If the Russian watched as his team capitulated at Vicarage Road, then you can imagine he was looking a prospective new bosses with Luis Enrique and Carlo Ancelotti both free at the moment.

Antonio Conte looks a beaten man at the moment and to be honest he has seemed settled at Stamford Bridge for a while now.

After the game, Antonio stated:

“I hope that, tonight, for once you understand me. I’m not worried. I’m not worried about my job.”

I don’t think he’s that foolish not to understand that his position is now on the line. Maybe it’s a case he no longer wants to be in London!

Last season was fantastic as he managed to guide them to the Premier League title. When everyone was talking about Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, it was Conte who would end up on top.

But alarm bells started ringing when he signed a new deal but it wasn’t an extension, it was just an increase in wages. That didn’t look like long term thinking or a sign of happiness that things were working well internally.

In the last two transfer windows, Conte has been constantly moaning about the lack of transfers. When players have come in, the Italian hasn’t been enthusiastic when discussing his new recruits. That must have an impact on the team.

The way the coach has handled David Luiz and Diego Costa has seen criticism being directed at the Blues boss. People felt it was all aired out in public and that unsettled the title winning squad.

A lot of Chelsea supporters are wondering why more youngsters aren’t getting game time at the Bridge. The first team side could be freshened up with some young faces being introduced.

Last night, Conte decided against starting new signing Oliver Giroud even though they had no natural hitman up-top. If the striker was fit, which he was then why not start him? Eden Hazard looked brighter when he was deployed in a deeper position and off of Giroud.

Chelsea have hit a slump and at the moment Antonio Conte doesn’t seem to have the answers that will solve his club’s problems.

If it wasn’t for Hazard, then Chelsea wouldn’t be in the top four and if the current run continues then they won’t be in those vital positions come the end of the season.

Things need to change at Stamford Bridge. Whether it’s the manager or the manager’s approach, that will be down to the Chelsea hierarchy and the Italian himself.